Interview: AberPride

AS WE HAVE come to the end of June, LGBT Pride Month, we can look back at a year where LGBT+ affairs have often been in the forefront of global news – the Sochi Olympics and waves of changes in rights and laws regarding same-sex marriage and work place equality in both the US and the UK. I interviewed the AberPride committee to ask a few questions about their experiences over this year, as well as future plans.

aber pride

So, how do you feel this year has been for AberPride?

We’ve certainly had a busy year. There has been good attendance for our weekly socials, club nights and special events and its great to see so many new faces as well as old(er) ones.

At the start of June we had Pride on the Prom, how involved are AberPride in this?

We had a stall on the sea front throughout the day. It was great to talk to people in town about AberPride as its important that we have a presence in the town community as well as in the student community.

As a society, were you involved in boycotting the Sochi games earlier this year?

It was great to work with the Student Staff Network on the boycott and the concourse looked amazing when we were finished. There was an overwhelming positive response from staff and students alike who all stopped to look at the signs and chalk slogans as well as ask about the boycott.

How closely would you say does AberPride work with the LGBT+ Officer and the SU?

One of AberPride’s main commitments is to the mental wellbeing and happiness of our members and we would not be able to do this without the invaluable work of the SU Officers. The Student Union has been the venue for our monthly Club night, SCENE, which is always popular.

How well do you feel the university has been equipped to accommodate all orientations?

The university do play an invaluable role in the AberPride members welfare. Because we are a society run by students it’s important we have the help of those who have had counselling and welfare training. Hopefully we can carry on this work next year and beyond.

How important do you think AberPride could be for incoming LGBT students?

We feel AberPride is very important. I’m sure everyone remembers how daunting coming to university and for those discovering or exploring their sexuality it can be even scarier. We aim to create a accepting supportive environment for all and welcome anyone of any orientation.

How is AberPride providing support for trans/those who are not cis-gender?

Thanks to the work of our last LGBT+ officer Hannah Stokes, The Student Union (soon) have a gender neutral toilet. As a society we are open to all and we make sure that all our members feel supported regardless of gender and sexuality.

How LGBT+-friendly would you say Aber is?

We have always felt supported by the town community and during Pride on the Prom it was great to see such friendship from the people and businesses of the town. Our Thursday night socials take us round many of the towns pubs and we are welcomed as any other university society.

How can a new student join AberPride?

You can join our mailing list by emailing us, which will keep you informed of all the event and socials we have planned. You can also join our Facebook group by searching Aberbalch/Aberpride. We will also have a stall at the Fresher’s fayre next term so if you would like to chat in person we’ll be there and our Thursday and Sunday socials will also restart then. If you would like to find out more do not hesitate to email us at [email protected]